Carta Ejecutoria for Armand. Part one, the Concept. 

So, I was asked to make a Master of Defence scroll for Armand Chavez De Castile. 
I knew I wanted to make a Carta Ejecutoria de Hidalguia, and preferably the long form, which was usually bound as a book. Since I read modern Spanish tolerably well, I thought of writing the text in Spanish, as it would have been. I decided to use pergamenta based on cost and availability. 

Illuminated Cartas Ejecutorias are at base the records of specialized lawsuits recognizing the named recipient and their family as nobility, often granting or confirming heraldry as well, with the actual court testimony and injunctions to the reader included. A copy is retained by the courts, and level of decorating is based on what the family in question paid for. Texts can be very long. There were two chancerys that handled these, one at Valladolid, one at Granada. 

I based my design on several 16th originals, including this from 1577

And from 1576

As well as this from 1565

This from 1569

As well as this, undated 

These last three from a internet exhibition at Spain’s Ministry of Culture that is now taken down. 

This 1552 carta’s initial has ships in the background, which was relevant for the recipient. Also, this a really clear shot of the binding, which is still just limp vellum , basically a large pamphlet.

All of these exemplars are from Valladolid.

Most illuminated Cartas Ejecutorias have the first one or two pages heavily decorated, with occasional intials or headers in the rest of the manuscript. The remaining pages are ruled in a contrasting ink color, with small flourishes added to deter tampering. I decided on ruling in red, as it seemed the most  frequently used color. 

Blank page from UPenn’s LJS20, a Carta Executoria copied in 1578 and granted in 1543.

I had a request from the recipient to include his and his cadets heraldry, which guided my layout choices. 

To be continued: text, progress pictures and more about Cartas Ejecutorias. 
More info on the format:

Ruiz Garcia, Elisa. “La Carta Ejecutoria De Hidalguía: Un Espacio Gráfico …”

Eleanor Deyeson’s blog post, in English.


“Áreas De Cultura: Archivos.” – Ministerio De Educación, Cultura Y Deporte. Web. 23 Feb. 2015. 

“CARTA EXECUTORIA of Pedro De Balbuena, Issued by Philip II of Spain, in Spanish, Illuminated Manuscript on Vellum, Valladolid, 7 January 1576.” Christie’s Auctions & Private Sales. Web. 24 Aug. 2016.<;

“ILLUMINATED VELLUM Carta Executoria – VALLADOLID – 1552.” Worthpoint. Web. 24 Aug. 2016. <;

“MS typ515.” Harvard Mirador Viewer. Web. 24 Aug. 2016. <;

“Penn in Hand: Selected Manuscripts.” Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection: LJS 20. Web. 25 Aug. 2016.<;

Deyeson, Eleanor.”What Is a Carta Ejecutoria De Hidalguia, and How Would That Work in the SCA?” Eleanor Deyesons Inquiries. 09 Apr. 2014. Web. 24 Aug.<;

Ruiz Garcia, Elisa. “La Carta Ejecutoria De Hidalguía: Un Espacio Gráfico …” Web. 25 Aug. 2016.<;

Part 2


3 Comments Add yours

  1. I would love to see images of the finished work. I really love my Carta, which was the form of my Laurel Scroll.


    1. I’m working on the rest of that post, and hope to have it posted soon. I really enjoyed making it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s